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Dec 19, 2012

The Unequal State of America: An interview with U.S. education chief Arne Duncan

By David Rohde and Kristina Cooke

(Reuters) – Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of secretary, spoke with Reuters about education’s role in income inequality. The questions and answers have been edited for length.

Q: In a commencement speech in December 2011, you said education is still the “great equalizer.” Is that true?

Dec 19, 2012

The Unequal State of America: Job training offers a second shot at prosperity

GARDNER, Massachusetts (Reuters) – In Massachusetts, places like Mount Wachusett Community College are on the front line in the effort to bolster education for adults. Located in the former chair-making hub of Gardner, the college has seen a flood of students since the financial crisis struck in 2007.

Enrollment is at a record 12,300 students, but state aid has shrunk from about two-thirds of the budget to about a quarter in the past decade. So, Mount Wachusett raised fees. Over the past four years, the loan burden shouldered by the average student seeking an associate’s degree has doubled to $8,000.

Mar 5, 2012

Santorum’s underdog wins and self-inflicted wounds

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania – (Reuters) – As Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum fought for his political life in 2006, his ally Senator Arlen Specter offered a word of advice: Just stop talking.

What Specter meant was that Santorum should stop talking about social issues, according to Adrienne Baker Green, a Specter aide who witnessed the exchange.

Mar 5, 2012

Special report: Santorum’s wins and self-inflicted wounds

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – As Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum fought for his political life in 2006, his ally Senator Arlen Specter offered a word of advice: Just stop talking.

What Specter meant was that Santorum should stop talking about social issues, according to Adrienne Baker Green, a Specter aide who witnessed the exchange.

Jan 30, 2012

Special report: Mormonism besieged by the modern age

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Reuters) – A religious studies class late last year at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, was unusual for two reasons. The small group of students, faculty and faithful there to hear Mormon Elder Marlin Jensen were openly troubled about the future of their church, asking hard questions. And Jensen was uncharacteristically frank in acknowledging their concerns.

Did the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints know that members are “leaving in droves?” a woman asked.

Jan 15, 2012

Insight: Rivals set to pounce on Santorum’s past

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Rick Santorum’s last-minute surge in the Iowa caucus brought him neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney in the first contest of the 2012 race to select a Republican presidential candidate. But it came too late to attract the harsh scrutiny usually visited on front-runners.

Only in recent days have questions emerged about his stand on abortion, his votes in Congress, and his endorsements of Romney over John McCain in 2008, and Senator Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004.

Jan 5, 2012

Rivals set to pounce on Santorum’s past

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Rick Santorum’s last-minute surge in the Iowa caucus brought him neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney in the first contest of the 2012 race to select a Republican presidential candidate. But it came too late to attract the harsh scrutiny usually visited on front-runners.

Only in recent days have questions emerged about his stand on abortion, his votes in Congress, and his endorsements of Romney over John McCain in 2008, and Senator Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004.

Jan 4, 2012

Insight: Rivals set to pounce on Santorum’s past

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Rick Santorum’s last-minute surge in the Iowa caucus brought him neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney in the first contest of the 2012 race to select a Republican presidential candidate. But it came too late to attract the harsh scrutiny usually visited on front-runners.

Only in recent days have questions emerged about his stand on abortion, his votes in Congress, and his endorsements of Romney over John McCain in 2008, and Senator Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004.

Dec 7, 2011

Callista Gingrich: The ultimate running mate

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – Last summer, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, hosted a band reunion for alumni. Callista Gingrich attended and took a place among 25 French horns. As the band practiced for its concert on a bright July weekend, her husband, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, sat patiently in the hallway outside.

“He was very low-key,” music professor Timothy Peter recalled. Never mind that Gingrich’s campaign for the Republican nomination had imploded a few weeks earlier, with the mass defection of his staff, who complained, publicly, that Gingrich was putting commitments to his wife ahead of his campaign duties – in particular a June cruise of the Greek islands.

Dec 7, 2011

Special report: Callista Gingrich – The ultimate running mate

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – Last summer, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, hosted a band reunion for alumni. Callista Gingrich attended and took a place among 25 French horns. As the band practiced for its concert on a bright July weekend, her husband, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, sat patiently in the hallway outside.

“He was very low-key,” music professor Timothy Peter recalled. Never mind that Gingrich’s campaign for the Republican nomination had imploded a few weeks earlier, with the mass defection of his staff, who complained, publicly, that Gingrich was putting commitments to his wife ahead of his campaign duties – in particular a June cruise of the Greek islands.

    • About Kristina

      "Kristina Cooke is an investigative reporter based in San Francisco. Before joining Reuters, she worked at CNN International and The Economist's "World In" journal. She studied International Relations and History at the London School of Economics and grew up in Karlsruhe, Germany. Write to Kristina: kristina.cooke@thomsonreuters.com Follow her on Twitter: @kristinacooke"
      Joined Reuters:
      2005
      Languages:
      English, German, Spanish, Japanese
      Awards:
      Deadline Club, 2010
      Front Page Award, 2011
      New York Press Club, 2013
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